When Did the Farthing Cease to Be Legal Tender

A farthing (probably consisting of four things) was a British coin worth a quarter penny. These coins were first minted in England in the 13th century and used until 31 December 1960, when they were no longer legal tender. In 1953, a correspondent wrote to The Times that a bus driver had refused to accept eight Farthings for a two-penny bus ticket, and that a newspaper seller had become abusive when he offered six Farthings for a newspaper; A later letter pointed out that the Farthing was still legal tender for sums up to one shilling, but it was obvious that inflation meant that the Farthing had survived its usefulness until 1956 and that minting had ceased after that year. The Farthing ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 1960. The Farthing of King Edward VII. (1901-1910), Victoria`s son and successor, was minted every year from 1902 to 1910; It was still artificially darkened. [38] The circulation ranged from 2.6 million (1910) to 8.9 million (1908) at a time when the penny print never fell below 12 million and reached 47 million in 1907. [39] A total of £1,021,013 was minted in pennies with Edward`s portrait and £222,790 in half-pennies, but only £45,429 in farthings. [40] But for the indication of the value of the coin, the drawings on the penny, halfpenny and farthing are indeed identical, because De Saulles used a January reduction bench to convert the models into matrices. The new obverse was his work, which showed the bust of the king facing right with the inscription EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP. [j][41] Compared to contemporary pfennigs and half-pfennigs, little is known about medieval silver farthing because they were rarely hoarded as the smallest denomination – in fact, silver farthings were never found in large hordes – and since they contained a quarter penny of silver, they were also extremely small and easy to lose. Moreover, farthings were not produced in the same quantities of penny and halfpenny because, although useful to ordinary people, they were not so much used by the rich and powerful; In addition, there were fewer profits and more effort to produce them for the masters of the currency than for large denominations.

In addition, the parts are so small that few metal detectors can find them, so they are rather rare today. Contemporary records show that more than four million farthings were produced during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307), but comparatively few have survived to this day. By far the most prolific coin was London, identified on the reverse of the coin as LONDONIENSIS or CIVITAS LONDON, but they were also produced in Berwick (VILLA BEREVVICI), Bristol (VILLA BRISTOLLIE), Lincoln (CIVITAS LINCOL), Newcastle (NOVICASTRI) and York (CIVITAS EBORACI), but most provincial coins are rare today. The weight and fineness of Edwards` Farthings varied – the first three issues of the London Mint weighed 6.85 grains/0.44 grams, while later editions weighed 5.5 grains/0.36 grams, but the value of the coins remained the same as the heavier coins had a lower fineness or silver content than the lighter coins; It is believed that coins were made larger to make them easier to strike and handle, but low-fineness coins were never popular in England and the population preferred the disadvantage of a smaller coin with a higher metal content. Edwards Farthings had the long cross inverted, and the usual legend on the obverse was EDWARDUS REX (King Edward) or sometimes E R ANGLIE (Edward King of England) and once ER ANGL DN (Edward King of England Lord (of Ireland)). After the Mint moved from the Tower of London to Tower Hill, the production of gold and silver coins took precedence over copper in the Great Mint of 1816. Production of copper coins only resumed under King George IV (1820-1830), when farthings were produced in 1821. Benedetto Pistrucci was employed as a designer and engraver at the Mint, and unfortunately it was his job to engrave the designs for the new coin, and he created a spectacularly ugly portrait of the king with a bulging face and neck. It`s not hard to see why the king was unhappy with her portrait, and Pistrucci`s treatment of Britannia on the obverse wasn`t much better, as Britannia was now pointing to the right for the very first time. Pistrucci was demoted for refusing to copy another artist`s work, and William Wyon was commissioned to produce a better farthing with the more flattering “barehead” type of 1826; However, Wyon did not reject all of Pistrucci`s ideas, Britannia was always on her back.

The George IV Farthing was produced in two types, between 1821 and 1823, 1825 and 1826 it was 4.5 to 4.8 grams, with a diameter of 22 millimeters, and from 1826 to 1830 it was 4.6 to 4.9 grams with a diameter of 22 millimeters. Pistrucci and Wyon`s drawings were produced in 1826. The obverse of Pistrucci shows a bust of King George IV turned to the left with the inscription GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA, while the reverse shows a helmeted Britannia turned to the right, seated to the left of the coin, with shield and trident, with the inscription BRITANNIAR REX FID DEF and the date in exercise under Britannia. Wyong`s obverse shows a left-facing bust of King George IV with the inscription GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA Datum, while the reverse shows a central helmeted Britannia facing right with shield and trident with the inscription BRITANNIAR REX FID DEF. Wyon preferred to place the date under the king`s bust and place the rose, thistle and shamrock in the exergue under Britannia. The midnight strike that ushered in on New Year`s Day 1961 rang the funeral bell for the farthing. Originally a fourth or fourth part of a penny, Britain`s smallest coin had a history dating back to the 13th century. Until then, people cut a penny into two or four pieces to get a smaller piece. The first farthing coins seem to have been tried on an experimental basis from about 1216 in the early days of Henry III. A quarter of a penny in size, they were made of silver and showed the young king with a scepter with a cross on his back. They obviously met a need, as millions of them were spent during the reign of Edward I.

They were beaten in London and various provincial towns. In the 15th century, some were minted in Calais and later farthings of third value of 12 penny were minted for use in Malta only. In 1707, the smallest piece was the farthing, which cost a quarter of a penny. At that time there was 240 pence per pound – this was changed in 1971 when the currency became decimal, with 100 pence per pound as is the case today. The need for a copper coin was no less after the accession to the throne of King George I (1714-1727), but Anne Pennies and Farthings coins (made of metal made at the Royal Mint) had failed purity tests. It was not until 1717 that Newton attempted to strike these two denominations again, this time from copper strips purchased from a contractor. [8] As the price of the metal increased, the new Farthings were lighter than the Anne coins at 4.5 to 5.3 grams. The farthings minted in 1717 were smaller and thicker than the coins of 1714 with a diameter of 20 to 21 millimeters and are called farthings “dump”. Farthings from 1719-1724 are slightly larger at 22-23 millimeters, but have the same weight.

The coins were embossed and the Mint had difficulty transferring the design to the blanks, resulting in countless errors. The coin depicts the head of King George facing right and the inscription GEORGIVS REX[a] on the obverse and for the reverse a design identical to that of Anne Farthings: Britannia with the inscription BRITANNIA and the date in the exergue below. [9] Farthings were sold on the premises of the Mint at the Tower of London in packs of five and ten shillings; the Department of Finance has refused to provide funds for distribution by the provinces. The Farthing was designed by John Croker, possibly assisted by Johann Rudolph Ochs Sr., and was minted annually from 1717 to 1724.[10] [9] The Mint had signed a seven-year contract; When the treaty ended, the currency ceased. [11] Edward VIII`s farewell is a model that awaited royal approval at the time of his abdication in December 1936. The king insisted that his left profile be used on the coin instead of the right profile, which would have been used if he had followed the changing tradition based on Charles II. Declines; The obverse bears the inscription EDWARDVS VIII D G BR OMN REX F D IND IMP, but in a complete break with tradition, Britannia was dropped from the reverse for the first time since 1672 and replaced by one of Britain`s smallest birds, the wren . This reverse remained in use for the rest of the coins` existence. King Henry VIII (1509-1547) issued farthings in his three coins, which were minted at the London Mint, although they are all extremely rare.

The obverse of the first coin (1509-1526) bears the inscription HENRIC DI GRA REX around a portcullis; while the second coin (1526-1544) bears the legend RUTILANS ROSA – A dazzling rose – around the portcullis and the reverse bears the legend DEO GRACIAS around a long cross.